Re: Mac maybe...
i am a mac user, recently switched from PC's about two years ago and i can tell you my imac is the best computer i've ever owned. its not perfect, but the OS/X operating system is much simpler, cleaner and intuitive than windows.
i dont believe there are mac notebooks available for the price you're asking, but check the website to be sure. i know that in Canada there are Mac-Mini's available: they are basically scaled down versions of iMac's: simply a hard disk and operating system. they do no come with any peripherals like keyboard/mouse/monitor, and those are available for around $500.
nice album in your avatar!